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Luxembourg’s Recreational Market Reform Includes Home Grow

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What does this mean for the entire discussion across the EU?

Adults in Luxembourg will be permitted to grow up to four cannabis plants in their homes and gardens as part of the emerging details of the country’s legalization program.

The announcement in mid-October certainly blew a breath of fresh if not cannabis-scented air through a debate in Europe which has also seen the European Commission begin to ponder, publicly, if they should rescind their last decision about CBD (namely that it is not a narcotic).

In Luxembourg, however, seed sales will also be permitted with no limit on the level of THC in the same. Sales will also be permitted both in shops and online (which is also no doubt, going to be a boost for the online seed businesses in Europe, starting with Holland.)

Plans also include a system for domestic production of seeds for commercial purposes – but both a national supply chain as well as state-regulated distribution have been repeatedly slowed down by Covid.

Until such plans have been drafted, it remains illegal to consume and trade in cannabis products or plants themselves. The consumption of the same in public and transport of more than three grams still remains a criminal offense. Fines for possession of under three grams will be reduced to about €25.

Legislation to formalize the market is now expected to be introduced in the fall of 2023, with work on the draft law beginning this autumn.

Among the expected issues to be discussed (based on measures already introduced) are a maximum sale amount per month (30 grams), age limits (over 18) and deliveries and online sales are prohibited. Beyond this, purchases will be limited to residents of Luxembourg who have resided in the country for more than 6 months.

There will also be a strictly controlled point of sale infrastructure. Right now, it is expected that there will be 14 points of sale across the country. Products to be sold also must be produced in Luxembourg (in a page out of the Swiss trial).

While the country is a very small one, even for Europe, the impact of the forward motion of this domestic market will be felt throughout the EU. Switzerland is not in the EU (even though it is in Europe). While it is part of a trading alliance with two EU countries (Austria and Germany), regulations here are not tied to approvals by regional authorities. Luxembourg, however, is another kettle of fish.

As a result, progress in Luxembourg is also likely to drive the recreational discussion in other parts of the continent – starting of course in Portugal, but hardly staying there – including of course, pending discussions now underway in Germany as the coalition parties who won the election continue to move towards governing.

Be sure to stay tuned to the International Cannabis Business Conference for more cannabis news from Europe (and beyond).